Monday, February 27, 2012

A Muslim describes his life in America

Tampa Bay Times |February 26, 2012|[Original Article

"...Shibly, a 25-year-old University at Buffalo Law School graduate, serves as executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)... [Read More]

...Since his appointment in August, Shibly has faced parents attempting to ban CAIR speakers from Hillsborough County Schools and allegations of terrorist affiliations. The School Board did not side with the parents...

...The accusations , Shibly says, are a symptom of what CAIR defines as Islamophobia, an unfounded fear of and hostility toward Islam...

...As an advocate for Muslim rights, Shibly has reached out to the community at public speaking engagements and open houses, urging those with the questions about Islam to ask not assume...

...An interfaith crowd including Christian pastors, a rabbi and a Hindu priest attended. Shibly spoke about the history of Islam, misunderstandings about the faith and a call for tolerance...

...Shibly recently shared his thoughts about being Muslim in America withTampa Bay Times staff writer Sarah Whitman...

What is your background as a Muslim American?

...When 9/11 happened, I was in 10th grade. I remember running home to my prayer rug praying and crying for all the victims. As an American Muslim, I suffered that day for my country. Then suddenly, I'm seen as a terrorist. It's like if someone hits your mother and blames you for it. And that has been the situation ever since... [Read More]

"Shibly, here with his son, came to the U.S. at age 4. 
“From a young age growing up, I felt like
I had to justify my existence"

Were you surprised by the reactions of people who did attend?

...I was shocked at the impact the first open house had. A couple ladies that were there started crying. They said they'd never been in a mosque before. They said 'We had no idea it was so peaceful.' I was shocked at how much they valued the presentation... 

What do you want people in the community to know about CAIR?

...We want people [Of all faiths of the community] to reach out to us. Just call and set up a time for a discussion. Whether it's a one-on-one or for a community event, we want to discuss religious issues and community issues..." [Read More]

No comments:

Post a Comment